Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said on Saturday that Nigeria and the North East would be at peace when the internally displaced persons returned to their homes.
Speaking at the 20th-anniversary celebration of Gombe State in Gombe, Abubakar, who was also the chairman of the occasion, said that complete peace could only be achieved when the displaced persons returned to their homes, farms and businesses.
“There will be complete peace when hospitals and markets reopen. There will be complete peace when children and women are no longer malnourished or when people no longer in fear or traumatised,” he said.
He said that for peace to be sustained in the region, the unquestionable level of poverty, illiteracy and unemployment must be treated as a national emergency.
Abubakar said that the pace of development in the region was too slow and its impact minimal.
He recommended that the government should set achievable targets of definite timelines.
“Every stakeholder must be determined to return a displaced person back home, empty the camps and rebuild schools,’’ he said.
The occasion attracted other dignitaries such as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and Gov. Jibrilla Bindawo of Adamawa.
Former governors in attendance were Sule Lamido, Babangida Aliyu, Ali Modu Sheriff and Jolly Nyame.